First of all, thanks to Ji, who gave me a blog award, and that makes me VERY happy! And thanks to Brian for stopping by… I used to have a student named Brian– always makes me wonder!
And now, for why I’m going to hell. Three reasons.
Reason the first: On Sunday, we went to the park. It was a fairly eventful trip, and we ended up playing frisbee with a very nice woman and her son (more about that later… it’s reason number three!) When Chicken and her father arrived with Jamba Juice and to join in the game, I told Chicken that her little brother’s frisbee throwing technique had improved greatly.
“Yeah,” I said, “when he started out, he was holding his frisbee arm up like a vampire’s cowl with one hand, grabbing his crotch with the other, taking three steps back and three steps forward and then throwing the frisbee. It was really cute. I called it “Bella Lugosi has to pee.” Chicken laughed long and hard, and that’s why I’m going hell #1.
Reason the second: This morning, Mate and I were talking about Chicken’s new, sorta scary friend. Chicken’s friend, Hamster, is having sex and getting her belly button pierced and smoking, and basically all of the things we’re afraid of for Chicken. I’ve spoken several times to Chicken about Hamster–“Be a friend, Chicken. Be a good friend. But remember who you are.” And Chicken seems to be keeping a level head about it. But that didn’t stop Dad’s eyes from getting wide when I mentioned the belly-button ring.
“It’s okay,” I told Mate. “We had the sex talk, and Chicken’s okay. Right Chicken?”
“Please stop talking, Mom.”
“Seriously–I put it into a rhymed couplet. Do you remember how that went, Chicken?”
“I’m running away from home. Right now.”
“Can you tell Daddy how that goes?”
“That’s okay. I remember. Pretty to touch, nice to pet, don’t let him get his pickle wet yet.” I turned to Mate. “See? We’ve got it covered.”
Mate was a little glassy eyed by then. He looked at Chicken helplessly and sputtered, “Don’t forget a SWEATER!”
Chicken and I gaped at him. “Don’t you mean raincoat?” I asked after a moment, and he looked a little sheepish.
“Yeah. Raincoat. That’s what I meant.”
“Although,” I added thoughtfully, “if you really want a sweater, I think Roxie could make you one.”
Roxie, don’t take us up on that… I think Chicken’s warped enough.
And now, Why I’m going to hell. Reason the third.
That lovely woman I met in the park is a Russian immigrant– we’d met a couple of months before, but I hadn’t realized how profound an effect that meeting had on me until this time. As we spoke, I continually flashed to Making Promises, the book that’s coming out this summer, that features Mikhail, his mother Ylena, who are both Russian immigrants living in Citrus Heights.
For a second, my heart leapt. Oh my god–here she was, my inspiration for Ylena and Mikhail! I hadn’t even known it until I saw her again. I wanted to tell her–she’s such a sweet woman, and such very lovely company. And then it occurred to me. HOw on earth was I supposed to tell her about what I wrote?
Her English is still in the nascent stages–how do I explain the writing process, and the strange, magical rendering that aged her by fifteen years, killed her off with cancer, and made her son gay?
I didn’t. But I kept thinking about it as we talked and played frisbee. Yup. I really am. I’m going to hell.
Who’s gonna join me?